Victoria is set for a $15 million boost to prize money across the state as announced during Racing Victoria’s annual general meeting yesterday.
Starting from August 1st next year there will be a $2000 increase to the minimum prize pool at county races bringing it up to $14,000.
In addition to this on every Saturday metropolitan card there will be a minimum of two races which have at least $100,000 on offer.
The encouraging sign for stakeholders is that these announcements may only be the first of multiple as talks continue between RVL and key groups including Country Racing Victoria.
Chief executive of RVL Rob Hines says the news is nothing but positive for the industry across the state.
“The prizemoney announcement is a very significant announcement for all Victorian industry participants,” Hines said.
“When you combine those increases with the recent introduction of the VOBIS (Victorian Owners and Breeders Incentive Scheme) Gold scheme, you can see why Victoria is the place to own and race horses.”
Chief executive of the Victoria racing Club Dale Monteith agreed it was a step in the right direction but called on RVL to invest even more into the main programs.
“It’s not off the board yet,” Monteith said.
“They have only addressed two races on a Saturday being $100,000 races, but my understanding is they are looking at more money to the other races that are currently a minimum of $70,000.”
In terms of the owners and trainers associations, both were supportive of the agreement but were quick to point out that it’s been something they’ve been campaigning for a while now.
Prize money boosts weren’t the only announcement with Hines also saying the following:
- Seymour and Geelong will be developed into Cranbourne-like training centres.
- Cranbourne’s capacity will be increased to accommodate more trainers.
- Yarra Valley developments will be completed within a year and the circuit will be able to meetings again.
- Friday night racing will run from AFL Grand Final eve to Easter at Moonee Valley and Cranbourne.
Overall Racing Victoria netted a profit of $900,000 last year from operational activities, a new record.
When combined with income from other involvements that figure reached $1.4 million.
This is thanks largely to expenditure being dropped by $9.7 million, a huge $2.6 million chunk of that from efficiency upgrades.